For the Love of Reading
Sunset Vertigo by Bart Walters
One of the best compilations about real life in Thailand
Reviewed by Kim Waddoup
When given Sunset Vertigo to review, my initial thoughts were not enthusiastic, expecting yet another, lurid foreigner meets bar girl saga with the inevitable ending. Whilst there are many books on this subject and some are indeed even classics, Sunset Vertigo is, I am pleased to say, very different. The book is evocative, perceptive, very readable, full of delightful observations, idiosyncrasies and enchanting characters from real life without being padded with the typical iniquitous living in Thailand clichés.
Comprising of a number of short stories, the reader will soon identify both with the author, the scenarios and also with the situations. The author is brutally honest and open with his life history including his reasons for both coming to and for staying in Thailand. Many readers will quickly recognise and assuredly have made the acquaintance of many of the characters that he introduces! Many will have sat on a barstool next to someone similar in some nefarious bar in Thailand.
It is well-written, the author’s style is potent, candid, hard-hitting and admirably readable. He is not dismissing the pleasures of Thailand’s nocturnal activities, rather, most refreshingly, chooses not to dwell in the abyss of the nightlife scene thereby providing a far broader spectrum of narrative taken from authentic daily life, living the dream, success, failure, heartbreak and even the challenges of business in Thailand
Sunset Vertigo, and especially the last chapter should become essential reading for every foreigner moving to live in Thailand! There are many impassioned, compelling, varied and highly amusing anecdotes of bizarre situations, in addition to a wealth of expert information that has been gained by bitter experience. Read this absorbing book and you will be infused with a substantial insight into the ‘real’ way of life whilst being here in Thailand and not just limited to the over-documented chronicles of the bar scene.
A great read, I will wait with some anticipation for the sequel.
Sunset Vertigo is available on Amazon and there may be copies at Canterbury Tales Bookshop in Pattaya.